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How to get the investment you want

Times may be tough but there are still plenty of investors out there who want to back innovative businesses. However, what the recession has done is make it even more crucial that you know exactly how to pitch to ensure you get the investment you want.

Be prepared

If you don’t know your business like the back of your hand how can you expect an investor to get it? Provide evidence of a real need for your product or service and who your competitors are. Many investors will also expect you to be able to effectively describe your business in one sentence.

Number crunching

You don’t need to be an accountant but it’s vital that you know your top line financial projections. Most investors will expect forecasts for at least three years. The detail will be analysed once the due diligence process starts. Writing a business plan will help you come up with the numbers.

Know your audience

It is important you do some research in advance about the people you are pitching to. Investigate the types of companies they have already invested in and be aware of what benefits their experience could bring to your business.

Are you different?

Do you have a unique selling point? What problem are you solving and why will customers purchase your solution over a competitor’s? Acknowledge your competitors and demonstrate why you are different and better.

Ask questions

End your pitch with intelligent questions of your potential investors. Subject could include what level of involvement they would play if they were to invest and whether they have any feedback on your strategy. Even if they don’t back you, take the opportunity to learn from their expertise.

To put the tips into practice, enter the Northern Ireland heat of The Pitch 2011, the UK’s most exciting pitching competition for small businesses. The winner will make it through to the grand final where £50,000 worth of business support will be up for grabs.

Enter the competition by 28 August at or register for a free audience ticket visit

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